Issue Three

Spring 2012


Atlantic Time

Eastern Standard is a block-graph
peaking in the middle distance
behind windsocks, freight cranes,
hay waving between runways.
Turbulence, for once, feels lovely.
One drouses over Providence
and is oblivious to rounding
back an hour outland.

The other arrivals will be days yet.
There is space still to seem
a soupçon more than one
can mostly get away with.
One eavesdrops patois French
and sprinkles it onto those native vowels
one circumnavigates the houses to pronounce
like seeds onto a raising loaf of bread.

The cell phone is inclined to reset.
Its clock shaves a fifth off the lag
the second one’s face is turned.
One even asks the correct zone
of the 1940s corner store
one bursts from a cloudburst into.
They shift in shop coats. They change
one with schooners, caribou.

The bathroom is communal,
though the corridor remains deserted.
One rubs a porthole in the steamed glass
and sees that one has donned this jolly
neutral all along as one might a top hat
bought in Oxfam and worn exclusively
out of town as though to the manor born.

The odder coves, they lap it up:
the farmers’ market stalls,
the home-knits and million dollar relish,
the denims with creases pressed in front.
A Cape Breton hen party moving
onto shots christen it Old World hot.

Only with the lobster bar tallying
the night’s takings does it cut no ice.
Amid liquors glittering upside-down
like sleeping bats, a senator blubs
for his wiener pixilated online.
One tips to excess and leaves alone.
The sidewalk is wet with cellophane.
Tomorrow, the night desk smiles,
everyone else is due to arrive tomorrow.

The cell keeps resetting automatically.
Each time it does it makes this sound.
Something to do with signal,
a sort of dead reckoning via satellites.
The sound the cell makes is this minute
plosive like gull call far offshore.
But for my laptop’s wing-light
the hemisphere is in shade.
Tomorrow all the others will descend.
There it goes again.


Conor O’Callaghan